Come sailing with Ipswich Maritime Trust

Posted on May 18, 2024 by Sam Sherman

This summer, Ipswich Maritime Trust (IMT) has teamed up with Sailing Barge Victor to offer a range of sailing trips from Ipswich.

Victor is an Ipswich icon. Now moored alongside the Old Custom House, on Common Quay, she was built in Ipswich in 1895 and until World War 2 carried linseed from East Coast farms to the mill in Colchester, and then linseed oil in barrels to London. During the war, she transferred munitions from Chatham Dock to waiting ships and was fortunate to survive at least one near-miss bomb attack.

Her skipper, David ‘Wes’ Westwood, has spent his working life on the Orwell. He has a wealth of information about Ipswich’s maritime heritage, which he is happy to share with guests as the barge sails along the rivers Orwell and Stour. In 2021 he was awarded the IMT’s prestigious Richard Smith Memorial Trophy, recognising his work in restoring and maintaining Victor, and acknowledging his extensive maritime knowledge and networks.

IMT has organised some wonderful days out in August and September on board Victor. You can help with the sails, take the helm, or simply relax on this historic wooden sailing barge, and watch the sylvan scenery slip by.

Ipswich Maritime Trust

Ipswich Maritime Trust

Key Street Ipswich IP4 1FF

We work to promote the maritime history of Ipswich and the River Orwell, through our Window Museum, research, lectures and local partnerships.

Events with Ipswich Maritime Trust

The first trip, on Thursday 13th June to Historic Harwich, with a 90-minute walking tour of historic Harwich with guides from the Harwich Society, has a few places left. The price, £75 per person, includes snacks, drinks, lunch with wine, and an afternoon cream tea. The second trip is the Two River Cruise, on Thursday 15th August, for £75 per person. This includes snacks, drinks, lunch with wine, and an afternoon cream tea, whilst sailing down the Orwell and up the Stour.

On Thursday 12th September, the Historic Harwich self-catering trip includes a 90-minute walking tour of historic Harwich with guides from the Harwich Society. Bring your own picnic lunch. Price per person: £48.

And for anyone who has thrilled to the spectacle of the Pin Mill Barge Match, when the river is full of enormous sailing barges in full rig, we have chartered Victor, in conjunction with the Pin Mill Sailing Club, for Saturday 29th June and will be following the barges as they fight for supremacy over the elements! The cost, £75 per person, includes a bacon roll on board and a hog roast at the prize-giving afterwards at the Pin Mill Sailing Club.

Finally, if you prefer to explore Victor in her berth on the Waterfront, and chat about Ipswich’s amazing maritime heritage, come along on Saturday 7th September, during the Heritage Open Days initiative.

For more information on any of these barge events, please contact [email protected]

Who wrote this about Ipswich?

Sam Sherman

Sam has more time to spend on interests following a 33-year Board-level career in Container Shipping and International Logistics. Passionate about Ipswich, Sam looks to see how we might jointly reverse some negativity and bring some deserved positivity back to our beloved Town.

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